Friday, June 17, 2011

Pride: Ups and Downs

I always get a bit down when there is a battle for LGBT rights in a legislature or at the ballot box. I suppose my reaction should be hope or celebration that we're moving forward, making progress. But instead I am sad, or "smad," that a). there have to be extraordinary measures to grant me and my family even just some of the rights that straight people have (do you know we paid $10,000 more in taxes this year because we're lesbians?!!!!) and b). that people fight it so vehemently with whatever arguments, always religious, that they have against us--it's just disheartening to be called dirty and immoral and disgusting and an aberration and etc etc etc.

I wonder how my grandmother, who was 18 at the time, felt about the vote on the 19th amendment, giving her the right to vote. Was she pleased that she was granted this right? Or did she feel patronized that she had to be given a right that others possessed by virtue of existing?

And I can't even begin to touch on the understandable rage of the African-American community at the repeated votes and laws and court cases that denied and granted them rights and protections over and over again, with slow progress and little effect on the culture at large for so long. Even still, especially if you believe the recent story (much-debated) that an African-American woman was denied shelter in Cordova, Alabama and died in the tornado.

So, I'm watching the struggle in New York's Senate to get just one more person to vote "aye" so that millions of people can feel like full citizens and I'm just smad. (I say "feel like" because they still are full citizens federally.)

But then I read today about the new UN declaration expressing concern about abuse of LGBT people (who are illegal in something like 76 countries) and affirming the support of our rights. And I was hopeful that there was progress internationally, with South Africa introducing the measure, and 23 countries supporting it, even though there 19 against as well as more of those awful kinds of hurtful comments. I wonder if the UN can sway just one more NY Senator?

I just try to remember, to paraphrase Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, the arc of human history bends towards justice . . .

1 comment:

  1. Love vs fear is the oldest human struggle on the planet. All we can do is fear less and hope more. And clear our throats and speak up whenever called by the spirit to do so.